"There’s just a lot going on in First Ward, and what you see now is going to be just the beginning. The traditional stuff, even the townhomes, will give way to higher density and more expensive development," said Mike Van Dusen, president of Super Neighborhood 22, a group that represents all the neighborhoods along the Washington Avenue corridor.
The U.S. Census Bureau released the latest American Community Survey five-year estimates for 2014-18 on Dec. 19. Unlike the census, it is conducted annually and uses a sampling of the population rather than collecting a total headcount. According to the bureau, the annual data release “helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities.”
The data show that with 77007's growth rate, 17.2% over the last five years, it has become the most heavily populated ZIP code inside the loop, with more than 37,000 residents. That puts it ahead of 77004, which saw slight declines in 2018 after years of growth. The area can be expected to keep adding population, as close to 3,000 multifamily units were expected to come online in 2019 and 2020.
"One of the things that I would like to try to encourage is to get more of the large scale developers to sit down with communities and talk about things," Van Dusen said. "I know they might not want to hear a lot of negative feedback but at the same time ... it’s in their best interest to know the types of infrastructure impacts they’re going to have."
With additional reporting by Emma Whalen